It took them eight months, but students at Luther Burbank Middle School have successfully restored a once-dilapidated 1979 Volkswagen convertible Beetle into “The Luther Mobile” for its debut Saturday at Burbank on Parade.
Teacher Joe Reed provided the car and oversaw the project. The students replaced the clutch, transmission and engine on the Warner Bros. lot where employees in the transportation department there coached students in auto restoration.
Reed said the majority of the dozens of students who worked on the car during his “Exploring Technology” class had no prior auto mechanical experience. Once split into teams, they became specialized in upholstery or mechanical repair.
Other students helped create the car’s logo, which was designed by Burbank High student Mariah Wood. Her logo was selected from 50 student entries.
Students also raised $1,000 to repair the car by selling slushies. The Burbank Arts for All Foundation granted the group another $1,000. And Cyril O’Neill, owner of Ghostlight Industries, which rents and fixes cars for the movie industry, donated thousands of dollars to restore the car.